10 Ways You Can Negotiate Better Deals from Suppliers
Does Best Value really just mean getting 3 quotes and picking the cheapest/best?
I’m reading a really interesting book at the moment called Secrets of Power Negotiating and it’s been making me think how useful negotiating skills could be as part of a school’s efforts to get better value for money.
Some of the techniques it talks about aren’t exactly rocket science and many you’ll be aware of before – but put together there are a lot of tools there for squeezing a bit more money out of suppliers. Here’s just a few highlights:
- Get the other side to commit first
- Ask for more than you expect to get
- Flinch (visibly) at proposals
- Never say yes to the first offer
- Play the reluctant buyer, no matter how desparate you are
- Always ask them to do better than that
- Play good cop / bad cop
- Claim to be constrainted by a vague higher authority (say … the board of governors!)
- Revisit areas you couldn’t agree on earlier when you’ve almost made your deal
- If you really can, threaten to walk away
My bet: a day’s training on negotiating skills for you and your senior managers would be repaid many times over.
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